Blog

Solutions to the Wind Wars

The debate about wind farms in Australia, including in Far North Queensland, was the subject of a recent ABC Four Corners programme, The Wind Wars. This mentioned a local wildlife photographer and environmentalist, Steven Nowakowski, and his work to stop wind farms in areas of high biodiversity.

While Friends of the Earth Far North Queensland commend Steven for his dedication to preserving the wildlife in our beautiful region, we are concerned that the debate about the siting of renewable energy projects has been hijacked and politicised. Other serious threats to a sustainable and safe future for our children and future generations are being minimised or even ignored.

  • Solutions to the Wind Wars

    The debate about wind farms in Australia, including in Far North Queensland, was the subject of a recent ABC Four Corners programme, The Wind Wars. This mentioned a local wildlife photographer and environmentalist, Steven Nowakowski, and his work to stop wind farms in areas of high biodiversity.

    While Friends of the Earth Far North Queensland commend Steven for his dedication to preserving the wildlife in our beautiful region, we are concerned that the debate about the siting of renewable energy projects has been hijacked and politicised. Other serious threats to a sustainable and safe future for our children and future generations are being minimised or even ignored.

  • An Impossible Dream: Sustainable Pesticide Management in Great Barrier Reef Catchments?

    Ongoing pollution of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments has been documented in a new blog by Anthony Amis, a Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia researcher who has been studying pesticides and water quality for more than twenty years. 

    In July 2023, FoE published a blog on pesticides in Queensland water supplies. This was based on over 70,000 pesticide detections listed on the Queensland Government’s Pesticide Reporting Portal between late 2011 (in some locations) to March 2023. 

    This new, follow up blog by Anthony Amis looks at the potential ecological impact of pesticides flowing down rivers and creeks into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). It does not discuss impacts of pesticides on the GBR but rather hopes to facilitate a better understanding of what is flowing into the GBR.

  • Increasing Australia's Climate Target

    With a new Labor government in place, urgent action is needed on the climate crisis. Friends of the Earth's Federal Climate & Environment Policy Platform 2022 outlines 5 priorities.

     

  • Our Vision for 2041

    We are lucky to live in an area where so many people treasure our environment. It seems odd therefore that, while other local councils have mapped out and included Matters of Local Environmental Significance in their planning schemes, Mareeba Shire Council has still not yet done so.

    Therefore we, together with other environmental groups, have recently written to the Mayor and Councillors and asked that this matter is progressed urgently. Here is a copy of the letter sent. We'll keep you informed of any responses.

  • Sustainable Growth & Other Myths

    The Challenges

    We face several threats to the quality and survival of human life. These include

    • climate change & increasingly severe weather events.

    • loss of biodiversity resulting in destruction of ecosystems and the interconnected web of life on earth.

    • pandemics

    • annihilation by nuclear weapons & other weapons of mass destruction.

    • pollution of essential resources such as water, air and soil.

  • The New Nature

    Seasonal changes take hold in Julaymba 1. With a flick of the tail, Yirrmbal 2 slides away through the gorge. Kabakabada 3 lingers and shuffles as Duluruiji 4 circles to land. Coming to the cool dry now. Herons stalk slow and stealthful, bait-fish surge and coruscate. Bilngkumu 5 bask all along the banks of the great green and brown beguiling river.

    Julaymba - Daintree 2 Yirrmbal - Rainbow Serpent Kabakabada - The Cool Wet Duluruiji - The Cool Dry Bilngkumu - Saltwater Crocodile

  • Deforestation & Renewables

    At the April FoE FNQ meeting, guest speaker Steven Nowakowski gave a very powerful and confronting talk about the threat that some industrial scale renewables pose to biodiversity. Steven emphasised the need for urgent action to stop burning fossil fuels and to mitigate climate change. However, he added: 'Should we be clearing forests to decarbonise?' (The World Heritage Listed Mount Fox volcanic crater west of Ingham shown in the photo, could soon be surrounded by up to 200 wind turbines. The forests would be carved up with 190km of new haulage roads up to 60m wide.)

  • No planning for renewable energy projects on the Atherton Tablelands

    Climate change is delivering unprecedented climate patterns across Australia. The use of fossil fuels is now directly proven to be a key driver in climate change and has resulted in a 1.5C temperature rise since the industrial revolution. To keep temperatures below 2C is a herculean task.

    The transition to zero emission renewable energy is now finally occurring. This comes with its own challenges. Industrial scale renewable projects are sometimes in the wrong locations.

  • Introducing Climate Frontlines

    Since the early 2000s, FoE Australia has raised awareness about the impacts of climate change on the peoples of the Pacific Islands region. Our research, publications and events have highlighted the effects of more frequent and more extreme weather events, sea level rise and ocean warming and acidification - and the threat of displacement and forced migration.

  • Wildlife Friendly Neighbourhoods

    With the influx of so many new people to Kuranda, this month we're revisiting wildlife friendly ways of living.